If they succeed, society will undergo a radical change. Jewish and Christian moral traditions have long rejected the idea of assisting in another's suicide. Catholic teaching views suicide as a grave offense against love of self, one that also breaks the bonds of love and solidarity with family, friends, and God (''Catechism of the Catholic Church'' [CCC], no. 2281). To assist another's suicide is to take part in "an injustice which can never be excused, even if it is requested" (John Paul II, ''Evangelium Vitae,'' no. 66). Most people, regardless of religious affiliation, know that suicide is a terrible tragedy, one that a compassionate society should work to prevent. They realize that allowing doctors to prescribe the means for their patients to kill themselves is a corruption of the healing art. It even violates the Hippocratic Oath that has guided physicians for millennia: "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan."
Proponents know these facts, so they avoid terms such as "assisting suicide" and instead use euphemisms such as "aid in dying." The organization leading this campaign has even concealed its agenda by changing its name. The Hemlock Society, whose very name reminded people of the harsh reality of death by poison, has become "Compassion and Choices."
Plain speaking is needed to strip away this veneer and uncover what is at stake, for this agenda promotes neither free choice nor compassion.
For more information on the case against Physician Assisted Suicide, please go to the educational website www.SuicideIsAlwaysATragedy.org